Hometown: Bridgeport, Connecticut
Major: Social Work
WCSU Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Social Work
Internships: Internship at Ability Beyond during junior year working with the disability population, and this year at Alpha Community Services, working with the homeless population
Activities: Created the club Beyond All Odds, involved in Phi Alpha (social work honor society), Delta Alpha Pi honor society, National Society of Leadership and Success, Christian Ministry, cross country team, part-time retail job
Honors and Awards: Dean's List, guest speaker during Disability Mentoring Day
Rebecca Young made a few stops along the way to attending Western. "I started at Anna Maria College in Paxton, Massachusetts, in 2010, where I attended for a year and a half," she says. "I then went to Housatonic Community College for a semester, before coming to Western for three years. WCSU was recommended to me because of its well-known Social Work program. It was also far enough away that I could be independent and on my own, but when I wanted to, home was a train ride away."
Once of the reasons that studying social work was so important to Young is that she was born legally blind. "When I was younger, I had the support of my family and many others who believed I could do whatever I set my mind to," she says. "Even though my family did not get what it was like, they stood by me and supported me, along with my eye advocates. As I continued onto college I realized how far I had gotten because of the support system I had around me, and this encouraged me to want to become a visually impaired advocate and be someone else’s support as a social worker."
Young's support system at Western included AccessAbility Services Transition Specialist Peggy Day. "She supported me when I brought up the idea I had for the club Beyond All Odds and became the club adviser," Young says. "She worked alongside me, not only with the club, but with the challenges I faced while at Western."
Asked what she will remember most about her Western experience, Young says, "Going to New Orleans over spring break in 2013. I went with an amazing group of people from the university's Christian Ministry, and I had an unforgettable experience repairing houses and learning the history of New Orleans."
After graduation, Young plans to take a year to work in the field and then attend graduate school. "I hope to work as a visually impaired advocate or work in rehabilitation, but I definitely want to go to graduate school in the near future."
Young’s advice to new students entering WCSU is: "Stand strong and believe in yourself! Don't let your dreams discourage you because they seem far away, but instead let them inspire you to take you where you want to go in the future and become who you want to be!"